Food firms must produce own energy or become ‘uncompetitive’

By Alice Foster contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food and drink manufacturers must develop their own ways of producing energy in order to remain competitive, according to Wyke Farms boss Rich Clothier.

Hear why Clothier backs renewable energy in this exclusive podcast recorded on the sidelines of the Food and Drink Federation’s sustainability convention this month.  

“If you look at how you can be more sustainable and reduce your carbon footprint, one of the obvious solutions is to generate your own power,”​ he told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

‘Lean manufacturing’ limits

“I don’t think you’d reach that conclusion necessarily if you’re in a factory looking at lean manufacturing.”

The cheese firm md went on to say that manufacturers would have to produce their own energy – or buy it from expensive retail sources – in the future.  

“I firmly believe that a manufacturing business that doesn’t have its own energy solution in five years’ time will be uncompetitive,” ​he said.

‘Hand in hand with manufacture’

“The production of energy goes hand in hand with manufacture now.

“I think it will be a strategic advantage that businesses have, that eventually will become just part of good manufacturing practice.”  

Somerset-based Wyke Farms converts farm and dairy waste into biogas, which fuels its combined heat and power plant. The biogas is used to produce electricity which is injected into the grid, with part sold to Sainsbury.

The farm also recovers 90% of waste water, generates energy from solar panels on factory roofs and runs delivery cars powered by solar. 

Meanwhile, read why Clothier wants to bust the myth that “green cost more”​.  

Looking to the future

“I firmly believe that a manufacturing business that doesn’t have its own energy solution in five years’ time will be uncompetitive.” 

  • Rich Clothier, md, Wyke Farms 

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